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Ebola Information

We know that veterinarians and the public are looking for answers regarding Ebola virus, and we are pleased to provide information, as it becomes available, on this site and through links to other sites.

Globally, the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak is the largest in history. While the outbreak is primarily affecting countries in West Africa, the United States is now affected with the first case reported in Dallas. A health care worker in Dallas was the second case and she owned a dog, a King Charles Spaniel named Bentley. This scenario underscores the importance of One Health, the inextricable link between animal, human, and environmental health. The inseparable nature of human and animal health demands that the Ebola Virus outbreak be approached holistically.

Accordingly, a number of local, state, and federal groups, tapping into extensive expertise, are collaborating to develop information for veterinarians and the pet-owning public and to provide immediate recommendations for the handling and monitoring of pets exposed to the Ebola virus. These groups include, but are not limited to, Texas A&M University and its College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), The Governor’s Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, local authorities in Dallas, animal control, and others.

Pets and Ebola

  • There have been no reports of dogs becoming sick with Ebola or of playing a role in transmission of the Ebola virus to humans, despite being present in Ebola outbreaks.
  • Dogs develop antibodies to the Ebola virus, confirming their exposure to the virus.

The Dog in Dallas

  • The health care worker in Dallas, who tested positive for Ebola virus, owns a dog - a King Charles Spaniel named Bentley.
  • This is the first Ebola exposed dog in the United States.
  • It is of utmost importance to protect the public and to provide humane care for the dog while it is monitored.
  • Guidelines for housing and monitoring the dog have been developed by tapping into the extensive expertise available in local, state, and federal groups.
  • Bentley tested negative for the Ebola virus and has been reunited with his owner, Nina Pham

General Comments from the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

  • This is the first Ebola exposed dog in the US.
  • We are concerned about people and animals. This is a timely example of One Health, which is the inextricable link between animal, human, and environmental health - One Health, One Medicine, One World, One Team.
  • We know that people are concerned about their animals; in fact, they will put themselves at risk for their animals. It is critical in preparing for and dealing with Ebola virus that animals and people are considered.
  • We actively support the Governor’s Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, led by Dr. Brett Giroir, CEO of Texas A&M University Health Science Center. The Task Force has already emphasized the need to work with the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences on this important topic.
  • People should not be reluctant to report early signs of Ebola in order to protect their pets. They should feel secure that they will not be putting their pets at risk by self-reporting.

For Further Information

* For AVMA Members Only